Zuck—Melvin Albert (Mel) Zuck, 100, on February 19, 2022, peacefully, at Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro, N.C. Mel took great delight in “making it to 100” and celebrating with family and friends.
Mel was born on August 20, 1921, to Arthur Perry and Harriet Katherine Buseck Zuck in Erie, Pa. He attended school in Millcreek Township, Pa., and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1943 with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. Later that year, Mel married Priscilla Hixson, his high school sweetheart. Mel and Priscilla shared a loving partnership for 73 years before she preceded him in death in 2016. They found their spiritual home with the Religious Society of Friends, first joining the Austin (Tex.) Meeting in 1958.
As a conscientious objector, Mel participated in Civilian Public Service during WWII as a surveyor in Trenton, N.D., and later as an orderly in a psychiatric unit at Duke University Medical Center. In 1946, he returned to his family’s business, C.W. Zuck & Sons, in Millcreek Township. The enterprise included a dairy farm and one of the first large greenhouse operations in the United States. Mel was active with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the Erie Council of Churches.
Mel joined AFSC as peace education secretary for the Southwest Region where he was involved with peace and civil rights initiatives. Mel regularly participated in workshops, marches, and sit-ins in support of peace and desegregation initiatives.
Later AFSC assignments included serving as director of the Voluntary International Service Assignments program in India, and as finance and interpretation secretary for AFSC offices in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Illinois until his retirement in 1987. Mel and Pricilla then served as residence couple of Honolulu Meetinghouse in Hawaii until 1989. After leaving Hawaii, they resided in San Antonio, Tex., until 1997 when they moved to Friends Homes in Greensboro, N.C. In 1998 through 2021, Mel was a judge for the Guilford County Board of Elections, Friends Homes precinct.
Beginning in 1985, Mel held various leadership roles with Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), serving on the Governing Board and helping to guide multiple committee initiatives. He made a significant impact through his participation in the 1998–2005 capital campaign to rebuild the FCNL headquarters, the first LEED-certified building in the District of Columbia. Throughout his time with FCNL, Mel frequently engaged elected officials with his concerns, focusing on capital punishment, Native American, and youth issues.
Mel was a force of nature with an impish sense of humor. He had a great zest for life and its celebrations, good food and libations, and the company of his family and many friends. Mel’s interest in the lives and well-being of others was unceasing. He was a lifelong learner with an insatiable curiosity and a love of classical music, literature, movies, science, nature, and travel.
Mel worked with his head and his hands. He was an early adopter of computer technology and spent many hours online keeping up with current events, corresponding with family and friends, researching family genealogy, and investigating various questions du jour. Skilled as an electrician, carpenter, plumber, and renovator, he was always eager to take on a new project or lend a hand.
Mel was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, sorely missed by his family and members of his cherished community of friends.
Melvin was predeceased by his wife, Priscilla Zuck, in 2016. He is survived by three children, Lucinda Zuck Frost (David), John Zuck (Lesley Armstrong), and Timothy Zuck (Robyn Randall); five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and Shirley Stroud, his loving companion who will forever be a part of his family.